You will never find peace of mind by allowing other people to live your life for you.
The most profound fact concerning humanity is this: The Creator gave us the complete, unchallengeable right of prerogative over one thing, and only one thing--our own mind. It must have been the Creator's purpose to encourage us to live our own lives, to think our own thoughts, without interferrance from others. Otherwise we would not have been provided with such a clear dominion over our minds.
Simply by exercising this profound prerogative over your own mind and life, you may lift yourself to great heights of achievement in any field of endeavor you choose. Exercising this prerogative is the only real approach to genius. A genius is simply one who has taken objectives of his own choosing, without permitting outside influences to discourage or mislead him.
We all know stories about famous people who turned adversity into advantage, who overcame great obstacles to become rich and famous. They are the successful people who converted stumbling blocks into stepping stones. They become the geniuses of industry, the Henry Fords, the Thomas Edisons, the Andre Carnegies, and the Wilbur and Orville Wrights.
But there is a far greater number of lesser known mortals who refuse to accept defeat. They simply refuse to become one of the vast majority who do little more than eke out a living and experience mostly misery, disappointment and failure.
Many years ago, a young army veteran came to see me about a job. He told me he was disillusioned and discouraged; all he wanted out of life was a meal ticket, a place to sleep, and enough to eat.
He had a look in his eyes a sort of glassy stare that told me he thought hope was dead. Here was a perfectly capable young man who was willing to settle for practically nothing when I knew very well that if he changed his attitude he could earn a fortune.
There was something about him, an almost hidden spark that prompted me to ask, How would you like to become a multimillionaire? Why settle for a meager existence when you can just as easily settle for millions?
Don't joke with me, he replied. I'm hungry and I need a job.
"I am not making fun, " I replied. "I am dead serious. You can earn millions if you only are willing to use the assets you now have.
What do you mean, assets?" he exclaimed. "I have nothing but the clothes on my back!"
Gradually, over the course of our conversation, I learned that this young man had been a Fuller Brush salesman before he went into the army: While in the service he had done considerable K.P. duty, and had learned to cook rather well. In other words, besides the natural attributes of a healthy body and a potentially positive mind, his total assets consisted of the fact that he could cook food and he could sell.
Generally, of course, neither selling nor cooking will propel a person into the rank of mulitmillionaires, but this veteran took himself out of the ordinary walks of life. He was introduced to his own mind and the possibilities that existed when he took control of it.
In the two hours I spent with this young man, I watched him change from a person lost in a sea of"despair into a possibility thinker. He did it all with the strength of one idea. "Why don't you use your selling ability to persuade housewives to invite their neighbors over for a home-cooked dinner, then sell them all cookware?"
I advanced him enough money to buy some clothes and the first outfit of cooking utensils, then turned him loose. During his first week, he cleared nearly $100 selling aluminum cookware. The next week he doubled that amount. Then he began to train other salespeople who worked for him selling the same cookware.
At the end of four years, he was earning more than a million dollars a year and had set in motion a new selling plan that has since evolved into an industry in its own right. When the ties that bind a human mind are broken and a man is introduced to himself--the real self that has no limitations--I fancy that the gates of hell shake with fear and the bells of heaven ring with Joy!
I hope that you've enjoyed this reading from Napoleon Hill.